Check Out Universal's Wild New Carousel Ride

April 4, 2023, 5:12 PM · Universal has filed a patent application for the wildest carousel system that I ever have seen.

Titled "Choreographed Ride Systems and Methods" and filed March 30, the patent application describes a type of trackless ride system for vehicles that can move up and down while rolling from side to side, influenced by user input, while moving relative to other vehicles along a ride path.

Universal's figure-8 carousel
Universal's proposed figure-8-style carousel

"By moving the rider as the ride vehicle travels along the ride path within the ride system, the ride vehicle may provide an entertaining experience for the rider that simulates movement of a carousel ride system, an animal, a superhero, and/or other entertaining systems or characters," Universal's patent application said.

The vertical actuator on the ride vehicle
A carousel lion on this ride, where the vertical movement is initiated independent of other seats, from below and not above

The roll actuator on the ride vehicle
The ride seat can roll from side to side, too

More from the application: "The ride control system may receive an input indicative of a desired rider experience. The rider may be riding the ride vehicle, about to ride the ride vehicle, and/or in a queue of the ride system waiting to ride the ride vehicle. The input provided by the rider may include a desired rider experience, such as a desired intensity level of the ride system, a desired theme of the ride system, and other preferences of the rider. The desired intensity level may indicate a proximity that the rider may wish to approach various obstacles (e.g., wall, other ride vehicles). That is, a first intensity level may correspond to allowing ride vehicles to travel to be within two meters of each other (e.g., the threshold ride vehicle distance), while a second, higher intensity level may correspond to allowing the ride vehicles to travel within one meter of each other to create a sensation in a rider that the ride vehicles may collide. Additionally, the desired intensity level may include the amount of vertical movement and/or roll of the riding assembly. For example, the first intensity level may correspond to allowing the ride vehicles to move less vertically and/or to roll less compared to the second, higher intensity level. The desired theme may be a theme related to a movie, a television show, a fictional character, pop culture references, and may include a particular ride path of the ride vehicle and other variations of the ride system. For example, if the rider selects a theme related to birds or aircraft, the ride path of the ride vehicle may simulate the flight of a bird or aircraft. Other preferences that may be provided via the rider inputs include language selection, character selection, the rider's height and/or weight, and other similar preferences."

We've seen systems where trackless ride vehicles can exit the primary circuit before, such as for the alternate load station on Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway, for example. But outside of an old-fashioned bumper car ride, I have not seen many theme park attractions where riders could choose how close they want to get to other ride vehicles. Or the variety of vehicle movements that this new ride proposes.

Universal has filed a trademark application for "Constellation Carousel," which is expected to be one of the attractions at Universal Epic Universe, the new Universal Orlando theme park scheduled to open in 2025. Universal also has filed a trademark application with logo treatments for the new park.

Universal Epic Universe logos

"The mark consists of the words UNIVERSAL EPIC UNIVERSE in stacked format. A shape that combines elements of a nautical compass and a ship's wheel is shown above and below the words, with an hourglass design on each side of the word 'EPIC,'" the application said.

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Replies (5)

April 4, 2023 at 6:07 PM

this looks absolutely wild. I love an old-fashioned carousel, but this is an incredible reimagining of the ride concept.

April 5, 2023 at 6:14 AM

Wow. The ride vehicles be broomsticks in some sort of Quidditch game where you can select which house you want to play for and how close you want to pass to other quidditch players

April 5, 2023 at 7:22 AM

One wonders how fast this thing might go…

April 5, 2023 at 9:14 AM

It looks to be a cross between the Mator’s Jamboree/Alien Swirling Saucers and Cedar Downs. I do wonder though why they’re filing a patent now for an attraction the theoretically will open in just 2 years. Typically patents are filed 3-5 years in advance.

April 5, 2023 at 2:21 PM

Intriguing, shame that Disney couldn’t have imagined that for the proposed Mary Poppins ride. Would seem to be a great fit when you think of the carousel scene from the film

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